Coal Tycoon Craft to Host Trump Fundraiser in Horse Country

(Bloomberg) -- Joe Craft of Alliance Resource Partners LP and his wife, former Ambassador Kelly Craft, will host a fundraiser for Donald Trump this month as the presumptive Republican nominee seeks to build his campaign war chest even as legal fees and criminal trials hinder its operations.

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Tickets to the May 15 dinner in Lexington, Kentucky begin at $25,000 and max out at $844,600 per couple — the federal campaign finance limit — according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg News.

An earlier version of the invitation also listed Jackson Family Wine’s Barbara Banke as a co-host, but organizers were asked to remove her name. Kristen Reitzell, a spokeswoman for the Banke family, said the wine company founder has no plans to attend the event and no intention of donating to Trump.

The dinner in the self-proclaimed horse capital of the world is one of several upcoming fundraisers, including some in New York and Nevada, that Trump will attend in the coming weeks. Trump and the Republican National Committee said that they raised $76 million in the month of April.

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment.

The Crafts have donated $8.5 million to Republican candidates and committees since 2015, of which $2.2 million went to support Trump.

President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee have yet to report their April fundraising figures, but they held a substantial lead — roughly $100 million — over Trump and the Republicans at the end of March.

Trump has not spent money on broadcast television advertising since he clinched the party nomination in March. Trump and his coordinated campaigns last bought broadcast ad time on Feb. 24. Since then, Biden and the DNC have spent $11.1 million, according to AdImpact.

--With assistance from Bill Allison and Gregory Korte.

(Updates in the third paragraph about Banke’s involvement)

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